Tuesday, May 22, 2012

A Parable of the Cracked Pot

Blogger's Note: The following material was forwarded to me by a long time friend of the family on the other side of the continent.  Rather than forwarding the message by email which can often prove unwieldy, I find it expedient to give it further circulation through this blog site. The email message distribution lists and forwarding history revealed that it has been circulating on the web for sometime.  On the merits, I found the story worthy of a wider circulation. So here it goes, enjoy the ride and don't get annoyed.  Life's too short to waste it away irritated.=================
To My Cracked Friends
An elderly Chinese woman had two large pots, each hung on the ends of a pole which she carried across her neck.

One of the pots had a crack in it while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water.

At the end of the long walks from the stream to the house, the cracked pot arrived only half full.

For a full two years this went on daily, with the woman bringing home only one and a half pots of water.

Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments.

But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection, and miserable that it could only do half of what it had been made to do.

After two years of what it perceived to be bitter failure, it spoke to the woman one day by the stream.

'I am ashamed of myself, because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your house.'

The old woman smiled, 'Did you notice that there are flowers on your side of the path, but not on the other pot's side?'

'That's because I have always known about your flaw, so I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back, you water them.'

For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate the table.

Without you being just the way you are, there would not be this beauty to grace the house.'

Each of us has our own unique flaw. But it's the cracks and flaws we each have that make our lives together so very interesting and rewarding.

You've just got to take each person for what they are and look for the good in them.

So, to all of my cracked friends, have a great day and remember to smell the flowers on your side of the path!

And send this to any or all of your Cracked “Pot” friends within 5 minutes and see what happens! Don't forget the Cracked “Pot” that sent it to you!!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Raquel Merrill: An Exquisitely Exhilarating Experience

The material below was first posted in the Review Section of Zeel.com, a sort of clearing house portal for Massage Therapist providers for all of Long Island and New York Metropolitan area.  The paragraph formatting quirks of that portal however did not do justice to the composition.  Ergo, I published it here although it might appear to be out-of-character for the types of rants which normally appear here.  Chalk it to “variety is the spice of life.”
It behooves to preface my remarks, as I emphasized earlier elsewhere (http://asumenacumen.blogspot.com/2012/01/week-2012w03-featured-pages.html), that
“. . . giving and appreciating an effectively healing massage is very much in the DNA of my [genetic] heritage for at least three generations.  So when a massage provider’s methodology resonates with the healing needs of my physical wellbeing, it necessarily affects my emotional impulses and overall demeanor. . . .”

Ergo, while I myself am no slouch in giving one, I most definitely recognize and gratefully appreciate a superlative massage when I get one. So better pay attention at what I have to say.  You are likely to learn something worthwhile and beneficial.

Raquel brings a definite improvement to whatever landscape she graces with her presence as she did my door with a seemingly habitual punctuality, a trait I always appreciate in a professional.  After we mutually agreed that my massage table setup was adequately acceptable, the only question I needed to settle as a first timer was how she wanted me dressed for the session.

It was immediately obvious that Raquel was not doing her ministrations by any book I recognized.  But the intensely intuitive component of the modality she was using was unmistakable. So about fifteen minutes into the session I boldly inquired as to the label that her methodology may go by.  With the self-assurance of a violin virtuoso, she perfunctorily suggested I may call it the Raquel Merrill modality.  So I apologetically kept quiet and enjoyed the ride with pervasive oohs and aahhs.

On hindsight, I would recommend for her to take, as a matter of standard protocol for first timers at least, a couple of minutes to scope out the client’s treatment needs and restrictions before digging in earnest into the massage procedure per se.

Admittedly, this omission notwithstanding, the session was the fastest hour I have had the pleasure of living through.  The experience was so exquisitely exhilarating, that as a token of my appreciation I insisted on giving her a paperback copy of my new book, (C.f., http://www.flirtingwithmisadventures.com/orderthebook.htm) with the boilerplate inscription:

“May you never cease
Minting memories
To fondly cherish
Through your priceless days.”

I can barely wait until I can get back on her table.  It pains me to concede that even in the age of Obama deficit spending and unbudgeted operations, budgetary constraints still prevent me from being her client anytime soon.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Abrassive Arrogance~~Obama’s Norm for Decency

Abrassive Arrogance: Obama’s Norm for Decency

“. . . We shall provide against and thus prevail over the dangers and problems of the future, withhold no sacrifice, grudge no toil, seek no sordid gain, fear no foe. All will be well. . . .”
~~Winston ChurchillHarbour of Safety,
(Ottawa, 9 November 1954)

One of the reasons that Churchill exuded the awesome power to inspire was his reputation for confronting adversity head-on without himself blinking an eye.  (For me, at least, the other reason has been that he drank presumably good brandy and smoked reputedly decent cigars, although I contend that they could not have been as good as my grandfather’s, who planted his own tobacco in his own land and with his own hands rolled his cigars and aged them in the barn he built with his own hands.)

Regardless of the protagonist’s caste, class, color, creed, or cohabitational cravings preferences and proclivities, I take extreme umbrage with prejudice at anyone telling me that President Obama is, as an individual human being, a “nice guy.” It is one thing to hear the canard from some Occupy Wall Street hobos in some sequestered corners of Zuccotti Park. It’s however, quite another to get it spewed out by the presumptive cognoscenti.

For instance, the perennially affable Bill O’Reilly has habitually Factorized that we should always be respectful of the President, if not because of the person but because of the office, as the purported seat of honor, prestige, integrity, and dignity.  O’Reilly conveniently forgets to mention, even in passing, that never in the history of the Office has a President debased, defiled, disgraced, and despoiled the Oval Office than has President Obama.

Lest I be misconstrued as a racist, ranting, raving lunatic, it behooves to cite a few notable illustrations:

1. In his Inaugural Address, shortly after he was sworn to “preserve, protect, and defend” the United States, he vowed (and enjoined the nation) to effect a fundamental transformation of the very United States he had sworn to preserve and protect.

2. Then he embarked on a contrition and apologetics for America tour abroad, abusing and distorting the historical record, and asserting that the United States may no longer be properly construed as a Christian nation, bowing in the process before every despicable aristocrat and despotic functionary of every hue and flavor.

3. Handing over financial control of General Motors and Chrysler to the UAW, in defiance of established bankruptcy and reorganization rules at the expense of corporate bond holders and on the taxpayers’ dime.

4. Attacking and demonizing the Ryan Budget Plan while failing to pass a budget by his Administration for all of the three years he has been at the helms of government.

5. The hoopla about the “Buffet Rule” as the potential cure for our budget deficit and indebtedness woes as one of the brain thrusts of his re-election campaign.  It is unmitigated class warfare masquerading for economic policy.

6. Confusing alive and actively serving Marine Corps men for cadavers on the same teleprompted speech, and the Malvinas (for the Falklands) with the Maldives in the Indian Ocean in a speech delivered abroad.

I can go on but I don’t have adequate intestinal fortitude to deal with it.

But the basis of my outrage and consternation derives from the fact that each time the President dishes out his balderdash, teleprompted or not, that inescapable airily foul feeling that he is counting on my presumed stupidity that I would swallow his platitudes, hook, line and sinker, and abide by them as gospel.  Short of any such presumption, he would have not been so predisposed to continuously spew out to the nation, on the taxpayers’ dime, a putrid hodgepodge of distortions, divisiveness, fabrications and outright falsehoods, as political staple.

To govern on the basis of a presumed ignorance of the governed is simply contrary to the doctrine of Americanism.  In order for the ideals of American Exceptionalism to flourish in all its exalted splendor, the nation need to successfully nurture a massively informed and engaged national polity.  Buying into the “President Obama is a nice guy” narrative, as did Gov. Romney on the Hannity TV show and various other venues, constitutes a luxury the country can ill afford.

Sadly, the imagery it invokes is that of a newly born puppy, with eyes closed for at least a couple of days.  Before its eyes are enlightened to the harsh universe it has been born into, it blindly gropes for the mother’s mammary glands which constitute the entirety of its reality.

Wake up, America: come November, we may fire Barack Obama!  But first we have to open our collective eyes as a nation.  President Obama may be appropriately called many things, being a “nice guy” is most definitely not one of them.